NBA Trade Rumors: If Monta Ellis Is Available the Chicago Bulls Need to Call

Jonathan OwensCorrespondent IJune 2, 2011

Monta Ellis could see his star rise even more in Chicago, and the Bulls could return to the mountain top.
Monta Ellis could see his star rise even more in Chicago, and the Bulls could return to the mountain top.Marc Serota/Getty Images

This really is the very definition of a no-brainer.

With Jerry West recently being added to the Warriors' front office, speculation has begun to run rampant that he will break up the dynamic backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis.

That speculation, born mainly from The Logo's comments about how important size is, may lead many teams to call and inquire.

The Bulls need to be the first, if not the only team to make that call.

Ellis fits every role that Tom Thibodeau, Gar Forman and John Paxson want in a player. He plays hard, he leaves it all on the court, he maximizes his abilities, he plays good defense, he has the ball handling abilities to take some of the pressure off of Derrick Rose and he is a pure scorer in every sense of the word.

He would be the second star the Bulls are looking for, a true scorer to match up with the Heat, and teamed with Rose in the backcourt the Bulls could probably outrun any team in the NBA. Would there be a faster team in the NBA?

Some might say that trading for a guy that couldn't make his team win in Golden State while playing with another under sized guard is foolish.

Not so. Monta Ellis and Steph Curry are not the reason Golden State lost last season. The Warriors are small everywhere.

David Lee, their starting power forward, is 6'9" and prefers to play away from the basket. Their starting center, Andres Biedrins, is listed at seven feet, but he plays smaller, prefers to play away from the basket, and doesn't have the length that a lot of the lighter centers have. He also doesn't play with a lot of energy.

If you took the Bulls starting backcourt and switched them with the Warriors, the Bulls are hoisting the trophy right now and the Warriors are still in the lottery.

That is why you have to make this deal. It would be difficult to trade away a guy you drafted and cultivated and watched grow, but this is not a day care, and now you're sending them off to school.

This is the NBA, and you are graded on the championships you win, not how many nice guys you draft. That's why Jerry Krause has a six point lead on GarPax.

Maybe you like watching these Bulls more than the champs, but you cheered pretty hard for them and they passed the ultimate test. The championship test.

There's another reason to do this trade. This trade will not cost you Luol Deng and will only cost you what you have an abundance of anyway—size up front.

The Warriors have Dorrell Wright at small forward and he fits their team. He shoots very well from distance, rebounds well enough, and he isn't undersized. He's also just now going on 26 and has a friendly contract for the next two years. The Bulls have reached the point where they view Luol Deng as untradeable, though they would move him in the right deal.

This deal could get done for Joakim Noah and a bunch of draft picks. Their salaries match up almost perfectly—Ellis makes $11 million and Noah $10 million—and they both fit the other team's need.

Noah would allow the Warriors to get away with having Lee play away from the basket. He's a tough interior defender, he can slide out to the wing to defend pick and rolls, he is always active and creates opportunities for rebounds that other centers don't just by tapping the ball out to others and keeping it alive if he can't rebound it.

At 26 years old, he and Lee could be together for the next five years.

The Bulls have so much depth up front that this should be an easy deal to make. Yes, they can generate the salary to acquire Ellis with Kyle Korver, Omer Asik, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer, but that deal costs way too much of their depth.

A simple trade of Joakim Noah, the Bobcats' pick beginning in 2012 and maybe one of their first rounders this season to Golden State for Monta Ellis is what needs to happen.

The Warriors have the 11th pick in the upcoming draft and can easily add a talented wing scorer like Alec Burks or Klay Thompson. They can even try for Marshon Brooks, though he may be available when the Bulls draft at No. 28 anyway.

Ellis is a great player, but Golden State tried winning with Curry and Ellis and it hasn't worked. Noah is a fan favorite, a high energy guy and a fantastic center. But Omer Asik is those things too, and when Asik is on the court Carlos Boozer plays better offensively.

That's the other reason this deal makes sense. It would be like trading for two guys as Boozer seems to struggle at times because of how often Noah clogs up the paint with his constant movement.

The Bulls made their run, but now they need to make this move before they lose too many more years in Derrick Rose's career.

For the Bulls the time is now, and they need to call Golden State and play "Let's Make a Deal."


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